The third time is the charm of the New York bar exam for Kei Komuro, legal assistant at the law firm Lowenstein Sandler and husband of Princess Mako of Japan.
Komuro’s name appeared on the list of those who passed the New York bar exam in July, published on October 20, after the Japanese press focused on his failure to pass the licensing tests. lawyer from July 2021 and February 2022.
He beat the odds as a repeat bar taker – just 23% of the more than 1,600 people who took the July exam having failed at least once, according to statistics from the New York Board of Law Examiners. The pass rate for those who took the exam for the first time in July was 75%.
Komuro has been an object of fascination and scrutiny in his native Japan for years, in part due to his status as a commoner. Princess Mako, Emperor Naruhito’s niece, who is now known as Mako Komuro, is no longer a member of the Imperial Family after the couple wed in October 2021.
Komuro earned a Juris Doctor (JD) from Fordham University School of Law in May 2021 and has worked as a legal assistant at Lowenstein Sandler’s New York headquarters for the past year – a designation companies typically bestow on new hires. who have not yet passed the bar exam.
His success in the latest bar exam paves the way for him to be elevated to partner at Lowenstein, although the firm did not respond to requests for clarification on Monday about his current status. Komuro, who works in the company’s corporate and technology groups, also did not respond to requests for comment.
With more than 300 attorneys, Lowenstein Sandler is the 140th-largest law firm in the nation and ranks 103rd in U.S. law firm revenue with $392 million in 2021, according to the American Lawyer.
Bar exam tutors say the test is particularly difficult for non-native English speakers. The pass rate for internationally trained lawyers, or LL.Ms, was 44% in July. Komuro began his legal studies in the United States in Fordham’s LL.M. program in 2017 before moving to its JD program. Fordham’s first-time bar exam pass rate among 2021 JDs was 94%.
Candidates for the July bar exam are expected to be officially admitted to the New York bar on January 11.